The Army Corps of Engineers at Raystown Lake has estimated that 550 deer were taken there by hunters during last year’s seasons.

The figure is a combination of information taken from hunters and data collected by college students at check stations around the lake.

The Corps of Engineers closely monitors deer and hunters on the Raystown Lake property in an effort to bring the herd into line with its habitat. Each year, it uses aerial infrared surveys to assess its deer population. This year’s post-hunt survey, conducted in April, indicated about 500 deer on the Corps property, or about 12 per square mile.

The Corps has successfully used the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) to reduce its deer herd during the past couple of years, and expects to apply for DMAP permits again this year.

It reported that 82 percent of hunters who received DMAP permits for the Raystown property last year submitted required report cards, showing they took a total of 234 deer from Raystown last year. That is a harvest rate of 27 percent, a little more than one deer for every four permits issued.

The Corps also used checkpoints, manned by Juniata College students, to gather information on the deer taken by hunters. In addition to information such as sex, weight and age of deer, the checkpoints provided information on deer taken with regular antlerless tags for Wildlife Management Unit 4A, as opposed to those obtained through the DMAP.

The check-station data showed that 26 percent of the deer taken were fawns – approximately the statewide average – while a fifth were legal bucks and the remaining 54 percent were antlerless deer.

The average weight of adults was 97 pounds while fawns averaged 52 pounds each. Deer harvested with DMAP tags slightly outnumbered those taken with regular WMU 4A licenses, leading to an estimated harvest of 208 deer with 4A antlerless permits.

Information: http://rays-town.nab.usace.army.mil/.

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